Denton County Public Health (DCPH) is encouraging community members to get the flu vaccine to protect themselves and others before the end of October. During the COVID-19 pandemic, preventive measures like flu vaccines can help lower the possibility of illness and lower the demand on medical providers and hospitals throughout the flu season. Though the severity of each flu season in Denton County can be unpredictable, seasonal flu activity begins to increase in the fall and tends to peak between December through February. Don’t wait to vaccinate; protect yourself and those you love today.
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of preventive measures to save lives,” stated Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Denton County Public Health. “Simply put, getting the flu shot protects you, your family, and the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to do all we can to prevent the seasonal flu complications that could accompany it.”
DCPH recommends a three-pronged approach to fighting the flu:
- Get vaccinated. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to get an annual flu shot, and the flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
- Remember that antiviral medications are a second-line defense against the flu. If you are experiencing fever, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches, and headaches, visit your doctor immediately, and take antivirals if prescribed. These remedies can help you recover quicker, and can potentially prevent you from being hospitalized with flu complications.
- Take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. Preventive actions practiced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic help slow the spread of influenza, too. Wearing a mask, washing and sanitizing your hands often, and staying home when feeling unwell can help prevent many respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
DCPH reminds residents that vaccination is a community effort that not only protects yourself but also family, friends, and those around you. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccinating also helps safeguard those who are at highest risk of complications or death from the flu, including:
- Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
- Children younger than five
- Adults 65 years of age and older
- People living in long-term care facilities
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives
- People with chronic health conditions such as asthma, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, weakened immune system due to disease or medication, kidney and liver disorders, and people with extreme obesity
Visit the DCPH Flu site and the CDC Flu site for details about symptoms, treatment, and prevention, and search the Vaccine Finder site to find a flu vaccine provider in your neighborhood.